Leon Trotsky, Maude Barlow and Green Philanthropy
The Play's The Thing:
In 1988, The Ship's Company Theatre of Parrsboro, NS, produced my only stage play (so far), The Prophet at Tantramar. Now it's going to be performed by the Showcase Productions Society on Sunday November 2nd at 2:00 pm, Monday November 3rd at 7:30 pm and Wednesday November 5th at 7:30 pm at the Anglican Church Hall on LaPlanche Street in Amherst, NS. Tickets at the door: $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. I'll be attending on Monday night.
The Prophet at Tantramar was based on the 1917 internment in Amherst of Leon Trotsky, one of the towering figures of the Russian Revolution and the early Soviet Union. Trotsky is a fascinating and tragic figure. A brilliant orator and writer, and a great organizer who created the Red Army, he was ultimately purged and assassinated by Stalin. In Amherst, he organized a micro-revolution in the prison, prompting the prisoners to go on strike and turning the prison into “the university of the revolution.” In the slammer, he noted, prisoners were free to think, study, discuss and speak freely – without any danger of being arrested. He nearly drove the prison authorities crazy. Come see the play – and if you can't, you can read my article about the episode.
The Tardy Blogger
This year has been so busy that I've hardly written a blog post all year. Normally I try to write something whenever we post an interview, but we've now posted 13 interviews at www.TheGreenInterview.com without a note from me. Starting now, I'm going to post fairly frequently and try to catch up on those interviews – and on other matters. So we'll start with…
I interviewed Maude at her home in Ottawa almost a year ago, and we published that interview in the spring. She and I knew a good deal about one another, though we'd never met, and talking with her was like meeting an instant old friend. She had just published the third book in her Water trilogy, Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever, and we talked a lot about the great and growing threats to the world's fresh water supply. We also explored the way that free trade agreements give legal rights to foreign corporations that dwarf the rights of citizens and even domestic corporations. We discussed the human right to a healthy environment as well.
Maude was downright inspiring when she talked about all the battles that ecological advocates are actually winning and have already won. Remember the MAI, the Multilateral Agreement on Investment? Gone. And there are many other examples.
To sample the interview, click here.
Diary: Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network in Halifax
All this year I've been preoccupied with trying to raise money for our film project GreenRights (www.GreenRights.com), the most important project I've ever done – and we've been doing an enormous amount of research and interviewing that will all become part of the project. (The Maude Barlow interview is a good example.) But I've also had the pleasure of some public speaking, most recently as host of David Suzuki's Blue Dot tour in Halifax, Summerside and Saint John, and then facilitator for the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers' Network, which met in Halifax October 20.
The topic at CEGN was environmental philanthropy in Atlantic Canada, and how to increase and improve it. Our region, which contains 6.5% of the country's population, receives only 2% (as I recall it) of green grants. The discussion was kick-started by a presentation from Jamie Gamble, who had just written a fine report on the situation. It was a great pleasure to be in a roomful of like-minded people, and to do my bit to move the discussion along.
Public speaking, I should note, is one way I support both GreenRights and The Green Interview, which aren't yet fully self-supporting. So, if you hear of speaking opportunities where you think I could be useful, I'd be glad to know about them.
Silver Donald Cameron